This week see’s the return of the first of what I call a “big day” of training since 2013 when I was last getting ready to qualify for Kona. I did it on Thursday and was out with a couple of the guys we coach. The day consisted of a 3800m swim and straight out onto a 5 hour bike and we got straight off for an hours run. I was glad that I wasn’t too fried after it to go in to work, I was on the last few hours of the late shift. I really enjoyed the day and was even able to do a 2.5 hour run the next morning. Overall it’s a good weeks training. Read on for this weeks update…

If you want to follow the numbers more closely I’m on Strava as Rob Cummins Wheelworx or if you’re more of a pictures instead of reading type I post on Instagram as wheelworxrob.

Kona Secrets book available

Kona Secrets: Lessons learned from over 50 Kona Qualifications.

Knowledge doesn’t produce results, action does. Just knowing how to do something doesn’t guarantee success, especially something as difficult as qualifying for Kona; you have to put in the hours. In this book I share some of the lessons I learnt between being a back-of-the-pack beginner to qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

The eBook is now available to buy as an eBook on Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Week 17 

Related: Week 16

Monday 16 :45 (1)

S&C:45 John Belton.

The strength sessions with John are still very specifically aimed at my back issues and have been getting progressively harder. I was very happy to realise last week that I was easily managing exercises that 4-5 weeks before were very difficult. My control and strength are improving. I think that this is the key to S&C for triathletes. It should be very athlete specific, aiming to fix or strengthen a weakness. Core, back, hip flexors are all typical areas where we are likely to break down either due to the training load or on race day. Strengthening these weak areas so you can handle the massive stress placed on the body both in training and racing is key.

Tuesday 17 2:35 (2)

Run AM 1:40 20.5k WNR loop 1:13:20

Run PM :55 11k
Last time I ran the WNR loop was in March and I went around it in 1h23. I think 1h13 today is probably the fastest I’ve done it. I do have a vague memory of a 1hr11 years ago but I’ve a funny feeling that maybe I’m remembering someone else’s quickest time. Anyway, I felt great all the way. I started really easy and just built into it. This is a very hilly loop with about 330m vertical ascent and descent and it’s usually a good indication of how training is going. The one thing I really love about this run is the massive endorphin buzz I get from it. I was on a high for hours afterwards. Over the years it’s also gotten funny names for different points around it. Dump hill, the goose loop, old mans house, alpe d’huez, the cia house and the gun club are all points of interest on a very nondescript country lane run.

We ran it early then went for a monster cooked full Irish breakfast sitting in the sun. Followed about 2 hours later by a huge lunch and cake. I have a fairly big appetite at the best of times but it’s like it’s been supercharged lately. I just can’t eat enough.

Here are the WNR KM Splits for those interested in the numbers.

5:47, 6:08, 5:38, 5:19, 5:04, 4:08, 4:25, 4:26, 4:21, 4:50, 5:08, 4:09, 4:01, 3:53, 4:06, 4:00
The evening run was just a steady 11k. I quickly settled into a groove and enjoyed the feeling of moving well on tired legs. I think I’m getting to the stage where we could start to stretch out the second run a bit too.

Wednesday 18 :35 (1)

Swim :35 1600m

Tired today after yesterday’s runs and want to be recovered for tomorrow’s big IM simulation training day so kept swim short & easy.

Thursday 19 7:10 (3)

Related post: Ironman training volume

Swim 1:07:35 3800 straight through

Bike 5:00 130k road bike n81 avg 26.1

Run 1:00 12k
Today was a race simulation and 5 of our athletes did various iterations of it with me. We started with a straight through 3.8 Ironman swim. There was three of us in my lane and we took turns leading out each taking the lead for 1000m. I was nervous before the start that I wouldn’t swim well and would get dropped but very quickly I felt really good following the lads feet for the first 1k. I nervously took the front for the second 1000 but again I settled into the harder workload and managed to hold almost exactly the same pace throughout. By the time we got onto the third kilometre I was feeling strong and confident and the last kilometre was actually the fastest of the swim.

We got out and straight into cycling kit and headed out to Ais who had the bikes outside. It was raining and cold so I put on every piece of clothing I had with me. Even so within 30 minutes I was cold and wet through. The bike was to be 5 hours straight out and back and I really struggled mentally for the first two hours. As soon as I got to the 2 hour mark though I immediately thought I’ll make it through now I’ve only got 30 minutes to go to the turnaround. In my head it felt like the hard work was done I’d had 2 hours of freezing cold dumping down rain and a solid headwind but in only 30 minutes I could turn for home with a tailwind and the rain was due to stop too. The rest of the bike was much easier both mentally and physically as it warmed up and I clocked off the 5 hours and after a quick change of clothes I headed out for an hours run.

I took it really easy for the first half clocking between 5:20-5:30/km. I turned at 32 minutes and picked up the pace a little sitting at just under 5:00/km with 3k to go I picked it up again and finished with a 4:20 and feeling really strong for the last km.

All in all it was a great days training made all the more satisfying because of the very difficult conditions for the first 3 hours on the bike.

Friday 20 2:25 (1)

Run 2:25 24.5k

We’re big believers in running the day after a long bike and if I can run long the day afterwards it’s even better. I started really easy and, similar to yesterday I was sore and tired in the beginning but an hour in I was feeling great and again the pace built the further I went. The overall pace was slow but I was delighted to get through almost 2 1/2 hours after yesterday and I did it on empty and with no drinks, gels or food and didn’t struggle at all. The run efficiency is improving as is the swim strength. Now I just need to find my bike legs.

Saturday 21 1:20 (2) 

Run :40 7k easy

Bike :40 15k easy recovery ride

Sunday 22 3:40 (1)

Bike 3:40 91k

6×7 minutes hard 3 minutes rec

Related Post: Rob’s training diary

Weekly total 18:30 (11) 

Swim 1:45 5400m (2)

Bike 9:20 236k (3)

Run 6:40 75k (5)

S&C :45 (1) 

Monthly accumulative 62:50 (35)

Swim 7:40 23600m (6)

Bike 33:40 800k (10)

Run 20:20 223k (17)

S&C 1:30 (2)

If you are interested in talking to us in relation to coaching you can contact us here

If you would like to read about how I went from smoker to Kona you can do that here

If you want to follow the numbers more closely I’m on Strava as Rob Cummins Wheelworx or if you’re more of a pictures instead of reading type I post on Instagram as wheelworxrob.


Chasing Kona eBook available

From smoker to back of the pack triathlete to the Ironman World Championships.

Read about how I overcame all of the odds and discovered what it would take to get to the Ironman World Championships – my eBook is now available to buy as an eBook on Amazon UK, Amazon US, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes

It is also available as a paperback at Wheelworx.